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praise for Timothy Leary's 
Psychedelic Prayers 



"The most witty of all Oriental mystics translated 
by the funniest of all American philosophers, who 
could ask for anything more? Lao Tse and Tim 
Leary fit together so well I almost believe in 
reincarnation." 

ROBERT ANTON WILSON 



"As a luminous trajectory, starting fromTao wisdom 
of the 6th Century BC and landing in the 
American scene as it enters the 21st Century, 
Psychedelic Prayers presents us with visions and 
choices we can no long ignore." 

LAURA HUXLEY 



"Psychedelic Prayers is perhaps the best-loved among 
Leary's many books, and occupies a unique place in 
psychedelic literature." 

MICHAEL HOROWITZ 



"Two of my 'oldest' friends: Lao Tse and Timothy, 
deep in conversation, speak with one voice." 

RAM DASS 



Tim^tfiYLEABY 
OIEDElic 

ar ofHEi^niEDifAttons 




Introduction 
Ralph Metzner 

Bibliographical Preface 
Michael Horowitz 

Preface 
Rosemary Woodruff Leary 



RONIN PUBLISHING 

Berkeley California USA 



Psychedelic Prayers and Other Meditations 

ISBN: 0-914171-84-4 

Copyright 1997 by the Futique Trust 

Published by 
Ronin Publishing 
P.O.Box 1035 
Berkeley, CA 94701 

www.roninpub.com 
www.leary.com 

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or 
transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, 
including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and 
retrieval system, without written permission from the publisher, except 
for the inclusion of brief quotations in a review. 

Originally published as Psychedelic Monograph II by Poets Press 
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 66-23650 
Copyright 1966 by Timothy Leary 

Project Editors: Sebastian Orfali & Beverly Potter 

Manuscript Editors: Michael Horowitz, Ralph Metzner, 

Rosemary Woodruff Leary 
Copy Editor: Dan Joy 

Cover Design: Brian Groppe 

Book Design: Judy July 

Production & Pre-Press: Generic Type 

Art, Illustrations, Photos: Page border from wood box edition which apprears 
on Dedication page, and as vignettes throughout this edition by Michael 
Green. Photos on pages 11, 12 & 126 by Peter Gould. Photo on page 30 by 
Robert Altman. Illustration on page 118 by Bill Ogden. 



tABLE of corrf Errf s 

Introduction by Ralph Metzner 9 

Bibliographical Preface by Michael Horowitz 23 

Preface by Rosemary Woodruff Leary 31 

Foreword by Timothy Leary 35 

PART I Prayers for Preparation 45 

PART II The Experience of Elemental Energy 53 

PART III The Experience of Seed-Cell Energy 65 

PART IV The Experience of Neural Energy 81 

PART V The Experience of the Chakras 89 

PART VI Re-entry: The Experience of the Imprinted World ... 97 

Poems on the Conduct of Life 117 

with Rosemary Woodruff Leary 

Homage to the Awe-full Seer 125 

Notes 133 

Index According to the Tao Te Ching 139 




Ralph Metzner with Nanette 
and Timothy Leary at the 
Taj Mahal, 1965. 




infRpDvcTion 

RALPH METZNER 

The first time I heard Tim Leary broach the idea of adapting 
the Tao Te Ching as a guide-book for psychedelic sessions was 
in Zihuatanejo, in the summer of 1962, during our first inten- 
sive retreat devoted to the exploration and mapping of the 
unusual states of consciousness opened up by psychedelics.We were work- 
ing on the adaptation of the Tibetan Book of the Dead as a manual for psy- 
chedelic sessions that was later published as The Psychedelic Experience. In 
that text, Tim explained, the main teaching was to recognize the beautiful 
and horrible visions that one encountered, what the Bardo Thbdol called the 
"peaceful and wrathful deities," as emanations or projections of one's own 
mind. With such recognition, triggered by the spoken words of the guide, 
one could avoid grasping for the beauties and fleeing from the terrors, stay 
centered and have a reasonable chance of making it through the experience 
to a balanced re-entry or "rebirth." Summing up the basic advice repeated 
many times throughout this guidebook, we would tell psychedelic voyagers 
to "relax and float down stream." 

In one of our discussions Tim said that after we produced the 
Tibetan Book of the Dead manual, we would adapt the Tao Te Ching, 
which he considered a spiritually more advanced text. The book's essen- 
tial teaching, for all of life, was to be like water ... to keep flowing. This 
was my introduction to the teachings of Taoism, as the work on the 
Tibetan Book of the Dead was my introduction to Buddhism. Both have 
remained treasured parts of my life ever since. Neither my undergradu- 
ate education at Oxford nor the psychology graduate program at 
Harvard had included any exposure to Eastern philosophies or religion. 
So it was with a great deal of intellectual excitement that I started to 
delve into these texts, both of which are among the pre-eminent classics 
of the world's spiritual literature. 

I believe my experience also paralleled that of Leary. A psychologist 
highly trained and skilled in the Western methods of scientific research, 
he felt affirmed in his spiritual approach to psychedelic experiences by 



iO PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS + TIMOTHY LEARY 



the discovery of these ancient spiritual writings. Their essential message, 
once freed from the prevailing cultural symbolism, was fully consistent 
with the insights coming from psychedelic experiences. Psychedelic 
drugs and plants are catalysts for transcendent experiences or they can 
be, given the appropriate preparation, attitude, and context (the "set and 
setting," in Leary's felicitous phrase). 

The Asian spiritual texts are centrally concerned with transcen- 
dence, with learning to go beyond the ego-centered perspectives of 
ordinary human consciousness, beyond the dualities of right and wrong, 
and with becoming liberated from the fears and cravings that character- 
ize human existence. For the traditional Asian religious teachers, the 
method of attaining such liberating transcendence was not psychedelics 
but meditation. Their goal, however, was essentially the same as that of 
spiritually oriented psychedelic explorers. 

The period of the early sixties, when these explorations of con- 
sciousness and rediscoveries of ancient spiritual traditions were being 
made, was a time of extraordinary excitement and challenge for Leary, 
Alpert, myself, and the other psychologists of the Harvard project. 
Unimaginable potentials for human transformation were seemingly 
being opened up. Along with repeated experiences of transcendent states 
of consciousness through psychedelics, we were experiencing a transcen- 
dence of the usual framework of life in an academic institution. In 1962, 
Leary and Alpert were dismissed from Harvard, my graduate studies 
were completed, and the psychedelic research project that was initiated 
there had to find a new home. None of us were particularly disappoint- 
ed or hurt by this apparent disgrace. As Tim was to say, it was as "unrea- 
sonable to expect a university to sponsor research in psychedelics as it 
would be to expect the Vatican to sponsor research in aphrodisiacs." 

The research and explorations of consciousness continued unabated: 
at first with a training seminar in Zihuatanejo (which ended with our 
group being expelled from Mexico) and then (after unsuccessful 
attempts to continue the seminar in two Caribbean islands) in a magnif- 
icent mansion owned by the Hitchcock brothers in Millbrook, New 
York. In the late summer of 1963, a group of about a dozen of us, 
including Tim and his two children Susan and Jack, Dick Alpert, my 
wife Susan and myself, and several others, convened in Millbrook and 
hunkered down for the fall and winter. Having been rebuffed in our 



INTRODUCTION RALPH METZNER 



// 




The Millbrook Big House 
in 1965, at the time the 
Psychedelic Prayers were 
written. 



attempts to establish a public psychedelic research center that would 
make these extraordinary new tools accessible to anyone with a respon- 
sible attitude, we decided to retreat and concentrate on writing and lec- 
turing and our own personal work of transformation using psychedelics 
and meditation. 

It was a time of great creative fervor for all of us, but especially for 
Leary. Many papers describing our work were written, lectures given, 
conference presentations made. The Psychedelic Experience was published 
in early 1964. 1 continued to edit and publish the Psychedelic Review, 
with the assistance of Paul Lee and Rolf von Eckartsberg.We started to 
give workshops, in which altered states of consciousness and changes in 
perception were induced without chemical means. We called ourselves 
the Castalia Foundation, after the mystical retreat center in Hermann 
Hesse's novel The Glass Bead Game. 



12 



PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS TIMOTHY LEARY 




Leary in 
Millbrook, 
1966, with the 
psychedelic 
dog, Fang, 
and Diane 
di Prima's 
daughter, 
Jeanne. 



Our experiences in Mexico and the Caribbean, as well as in earlier 
group experiences when we were still at Harvard, had brought us right 
up against some very heavy barriers to communication and coopera- 
tion -jealousy, possessiveness, competitiveness, envy, and so forth. There 
were also experiences of feeling a warm inclusive unity and non-posses- 
sive love for all beings. However, after these experience wore off, the 
pre-imprinted feelings of the normal personality returned, made perhaps 
more acutely uncomfortable by the memory of the free consciousness 
experienced under the drug. The higher, more unified level of con- 
sciousness could not be maintained. We saw how we were trapped by 
ancient patterns of conditioning. 

Perhaps naively, we wanted to see if we could override them by 
consciously and intentionally choosing to do so. We began a series of 
small group experiments in non-possessive relationships, which were 



INTRODUCTION RALPH METZNER 13 



mostly abandoned after a couple of weeks as being too artificial. Out of 
all this, however, came some powerful learning and much laughter at the 
ridiculousness of our preconditioned attitudes and habits and the diffi- 
culty of escaping from them. Tim Leary's leadership style in these situa- 
tions was light, humorous, and very engaging. Dick Alpert too had a 
great sense of humor and told fantastically intriguing stories of his 
adventures on the lecture circuit. The jazz musician Maynard Ferguson, 
together with his wife Flo and their three children, lived in the house as 
well. We all became very close. 

When we were not working on writing, lecturing or giving work- 
shops, or trying to free our interpersonal relationships from pre- 
imprinted possessive conditioning, we spent time working on the fan- 
tastic grounds of the three thousand acre estate, clearing shrubbery and 
building little retreat centers and hermit's nooks. I remember winter 
walks in the moonlight, when the only sound was the crunching of our 
boots in the snow. One crisp, cold day in November 1963 we got the 
synchronistic news: Aldous Huxley, the wise elder of the psychedelic 
movement, had died, and had taken a dose of LSD to facilitate the final 
journey; and on the same day, John F. Kennedy, our charismatic presi- 
dent, was assassinated in Dallas. This was a low body-blow to the collec- 
tive American psyche a sudden loss of innocence and idealism, and an 
ominous foreboding to those involved in the movement for the libera- 
tion of consciousness. 

During the spring and summer of 1964 the Millbrook group con- 
tinued their psychedelic explorations, creative writing projects, garden- 
ing, and connecting with artists, musicians, philosophers, researchers, 
journalists. Ken Kesey and his busload of Merry Pranksters arrived 
unannounced one day, after their legendary cross-country tour. Amazing 
feasts and celebrations took place in the extravagantly baroque mansion 
that we called the Big House. Millbrook became a kind of Mecca for 
psychedelic seekers and adventurers. 

Among the constant stream of visitors from New York was a 
Swedish fashion model named Nanette, whose long-legged form was at 
that time adorning numerous New York transit buses. She and Tim fell 
in love and moved in together. Shortly thereafter, a friend of hers, 
another model named Kathy, with auburn hair and green eyes, arrived. 
Kathy and I fell in love. Both Tim and I, introverted intellectuals that we 



14 PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS TIMOTHY LEARY 



were, felt initially awkv/ard with these glamorous and sophisticated 
denizens of the New York fashion world. Our LSD experiences with 
them however swiftly took us all to undreamed of levels of archetypal 
tantric spirituality. 

Another Hermann Hesse novel that had made a deep impression on 
us was Journey to the East, a story of a group vision quest, a metaphorical 
journey to the lands of mystic spirituality. Each of the seekers on that 
journey had a personal goal, but all shared the goal of enlightenment 
and liberation. "For our goal," Hesse wrote, "was not only the East, or 
rather the East was not only a country and something geographical, but 
it was the home and youth of the soul." In Hesse's novel, the group 
quest, though initially ecstatically inspiring, falls apart under mysterious 
circumstances in a doomed place called Morbio Inferiore.We were also 
reading Ouspensky's In Search of the Miraculous and Gurdjieff's Meetings 
with Remarkable Men, in which a 20-year quest in Asia by a group called 
the Seekers after Truth is described. Stimulated by these accounts of spir- 
itual quests, the idea of an actual geographical pilgrimage to India had 
formed in our minds. 

So when the opportunity arose to accompany an Indian holy 
woman, Gayatri Devi, with her group of Indian and American disciples, 
on an ashram pilgrimage to India, I jumped at the chance and tried to 
persuade Kathy to go with me. Tim and Nanette wanted to join us some 
time later. Gayatri Devi, or Mataji as she was called, was a teacher in the 
lineage of Ramakrishna and Vivekananda, who had founded ashrams in 
Los Angeles and Boston, had tried LSD and was supportive of the 
exploration of its spiritual potentials. So in November of 1964 I found 
myself on the plane to India in her company. Kathy had become very 
anxious and conflicted and could not bring herself to go with me, 
though she held out hope she might come later. After a week's stopover 
in Kyoto, Japan, where we conversed with Zen teachers and visited 
shrines and temples, we landed in Calcutta, where Mataji had thousands 
of devotees. Enormously interesting visits to temple sites in Bhub- 
haneshwar, Puri, Konarak and Benares followed. Then we went to Delhi 
and northwards up into the hill country of Uttar Pradesh to Rishikesh, 
where the Beatles later visited the ashram of Maharashi MaheshYogi. 

Then I separated from Gayatri Devi's group and continued further 
northwards and into the Himalayan foothills to the village of Almora. 



INTRODUCTION + RALPH METZNER 15 



Lama Anagarika Govinda, the Austrian-born Buddhist scholar, lived 
there with his Parsee wife, Li Gotami, in a cottage on a ridge with an 
unbelievably spectacular view of the snow and ice peaks of the 
Himalayas. Every day I would walk a couple of hours to their house and 
discuss various aspects of Tibetan Buddhist teachings with them. Lama 
Govinda was impressed with the appreciative dedication we had written 
to him in our adaptation of the Tibetan Book of the Dead. He agreed to 
try a dose of LSD that I offered to provide and guide for him. After an 
initially turbulent period of confusion and anxiety at the intense somat- 
ic changes induced, he centered himself with the aid of mantra and 
mudra, and had an illuminating experience according to the model of 
Bardo Thodol. He expressed his pleased anticipation of a visit from 
Timothy Leary. 

During my travels in India I had been writing Kathy and the 
Millbrook group my impressions of India. Tim wrote back letters in 
which he described the fantastic and joyous spiritual and social carnival 
that Millbrook had become, his deepening relationship with Nanette, 
their wedding, their travel plans for India, and his evolving ideas about 
the processes of psychedelic consciousness expansion. He was using the 
ethological language of imprinting. These ideas and understandings 
formed the conceptual framework for his work in translating the Tao Te 
Ching into a session manual for psychedelic experiences. Here are a few 
excerpts from these letters: 

The political-education battle over psychedelics has been won 
and from now on it's just a matter of time... next generation... my 
only concern now is to learn to use my own head and to pursue 
the incredible complexities that develop when two people begin to 
explore their potentialities together and in small tribal groups. 
Withdrawing energy and commitment from externals and 
materials, etc. You know. 

Nanette and I have been together almost every minute for the 
last three weeks and she is an unending series of beauty and wise 
lessons... We are visiting the Episcopalian minister in town to 
arrange the most romantic, mythic wedding in history... very soon. 
You have to give everything to it without reserve and then it all 
flows from one moment of happiness to the next... well you know. 



16 PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS TIMOTHY LEARY 



The tribal scene is wonderful. 

The trees are now leafless and etched black, like sumi-painting 
strokes, and the dusk comes quickly late afternoons and fires are 
glowing in most of the rooms and the house breathes softly waiting 
for the next period of change and movement... Nanette and I will 
probably be joining you after the first of the year. 

The meaning of imprinting is "getting involuntarily hooked to 
externals, accidentally presented externals at that!!!" The process of 
de-imprinting is getting consciousness back to the flow and back to 
the body. Re-imprinting is planned temporary hooking back to 
externals. 

Marriage plans... we are inseparable these days, keeping humor 
and loving detachment while the turmoil swirls by. We think now 
we'll leave for the Orient right after the wedding. 

My understanding of the "trap of externalization" becomes 
clearer. Imprinting freezes us to the outside the trick is to with- 
draw once a week and then, each time, make a carefully planned 
re-addiction to the outside systematically reducing the number of 
externals and thus allowing for new complexity and subtlety. You 
know. 

Nanette has changed. More quiet, tranquil, amazing patience, 
she moves through the turmoil areas with calm. She has Chinese, 
Viking, south Sweden farm girl things at her core. 

The power of imprinting continually astounds me. Frightening, 
unless you continually and vigilantly recognize. We delight in the 
prospect of seeing you soon. 

Richard (Alpert) has mutated. He has taken over "Tim's role," 
whatever that means, and is genial, hospitable, radiating plans and 
welcomes. He is filling the house with creative men and beautiful 
women... Wedding in four days. Incredibly long list of details all 
clicking into place. Nanette is a pure, white fire of honesty and 
love. We have been together about 23 hours a day for the last four 
weeks. 

Kathy... every hour a new crisis. Nanette and I have bought her 
a ticket around the world which she now has in her possession. I 
have made reservations for her to leave when we leave. We are 
putting no pressure on her simply giving her another card in her 



INTRODUCTION RALPH METZNER 1 7 



hands a freedom card which she may or may not use. She is 
miserable. Your letters have been magnificent. I guess that is all you 
can do... let her know you are waiting, without putting on a lot of 
pressure or emotion. Perhaps by the time you receive this she will 
be on her way. 

In any case, and in all cases the only thing to do is to free one- 
self from internal distortions and external addictions. 

We think of you always and with great joy that we'll be with 
you soon. 

I was deeply moved and exhilarated by Tim's letters. Readers of 
Psychedelic Prayers will recognize the themes of freeing oneself from 
"internal distortions and external addictions" in his versions of LaoTse's 
ancient text. The Taoist teaching on the importance of attuning oneself 
with the flow of Tao resonates naturally with his statement that "de- 
imprinting is getting back to the flow and back to the body." As his let- 
ters show, he was acutely sensitive to the fragility and vulnerability of 
the imprinting process involved in human love relationships. There was 
an exquisite poignancy for me in his messages, since my romance with 
Kathy was hanging in the balance. For Tim and Nanette, although they 
could hardly have known this, their visit to the Himalayan village of 
Almora involved extraordinarily heightened creativity and spiritual 
insight, but it also spelled the beginning of the end of their marriage. 

I took the three day journey by bus and train down from the Hill 
Country to meet Tim and Nanette in Delhi. When I told them enthusi- 
astically about Almora and my meetings with Lama Govinda, they 
decided they wanted to go there too. But before we headed back up 
into the mountains, we wanted to see the Taj Mahal. We had heard that 
once a month, around the time of the full moon, the grounds are kept 
open to visitors at night. We thought this would be an extraordinary set- 
ting for a psychedelic experience. During the day we took a tour of the 
mausoleum, our senses heightened by legally available ganja. Our guide 
enthusiastically explained the history behind this amazing structure. 
"Shah Jehan, who built this monument, was not only in love with his 
wife, Mumtaz Mahal ('Jewel of the Palace') but he also had a mania for 
construction." He built it in response to his wife's dying request to 
create something by which she would be remembered. 



18 PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS + TIMOTHY LEARY 



Tim Leary was very impressed by the fact that Shah Jehan built the 
Taj as an expression of personal-human love. He felt that the quest for 
enlightenment still always had an element of selfishness ("my enlighten- 
ment") whereas the Shah's love for his wife was purely other-oriented. 
The question of how personal passionate human love could be integrat- 
ed with the spiritual quest for liberation was clearly a central concern 
for Tim during this period and perhaps a core theme of his entire 
post-psychedelic life. 

As the sun was setting and the full moon rising, we set up our ses- 
sion blanket on the grass in front of the Taj. The sight of the Taj Mahal 
in the moonlight is indescribable, even with normal perception. After 
our eyes got adapted to the darkness, the light of the moon was brilliant 
as daylight, the white marble dome glistened pale blue and silver, while 
precious stones inlaid high on the dome flashed and sparkled. Like a 
mirage it hung in space, separated from the earth by a thin band of haze, 
glowing and humming with radiance in perfectly harmonious wave- 
field patterns. 

& & 

In his autobiography Flashbacks Leary described how in Almora, 
they rented a house high on the ridge, with me in the guest room, and 
started a routine of visiting Lama Govinda and Li Gotami every after- 
noon. "It turned out that the Lama and I shared an intellectual obses- 
sion a compulsive penchant for classification." Govinda had made an 
exhaustive study of Asian systems of consciousness and Leary, the author 
of Interpersonal Diagnosis of Personality, had spent years studying Western 
systems of personality. They got along famously. 

Tim had brought along nine English language translations of the Tao 
Te Ching. Each day, sitting on the grass in the warm sun under the pine 
trees, he would pick one of Lao Tse's verses, read each of the versions 
and attempt to distill the essential meaning using the perspectives 
gained from his psychedelic experiences. Lao Tse's cryptic and profound 
meditations on the invisible, all-pervasive universal energy flow process, 
were rendered into language that psychedelic voyagers would recognize 
from their experiences. Then he would reduce them down to the sparest 
possible formulations, distilling, extracting the essence, carving words 



INTRODUCTION + RALPH METZNER 19 



like a sculptor hewing and polishing the stone to reveal the figure. Lao 
Tse had been a counselor to rulers and princes. Leary translated his 
advice to them into suggestions for the psychedelic session guide. 

I feel these meditations on psychedelic consciousness expansion are 
perhaps Tim Leary s most inspired writings. They are, by turns, serene, 
sensuous, funny, and wise. He continued to work on them after he had 
returned to Millbrook, where they were organized as a session manual 
in six parts, to be read by the voyager or guide before and during a ses- 
sion. I suggested the name "Psychedelic Prayers." The six parts, corre- 
sponding roughly to the outline of The Psychedelic Experience, were (1) 
preparatory, (2) highest point of pure energy flow, (3) visions of biologi- 
cal or seed energy, (4) verses focusing on the perceptual senses, (5) verses 
focusing on the chakras, and (6) verses about re-entry, re-imprinting, or 
return to everyday life. 

The three of us also visited Sri Krishna Prem, an expatriate 
Englishman who had lived in an ashram as devotee of Krishna-Radha in 
the nearby village of Mirtola for over forty years. He was an extraordi- 
nary figure, who had integrated Hindu and Buddhist teachings with the 
esoteric wisdom traditions of the West, including Gurdjieff. Where 
Govinda was a scholar, a pandit, Krishna Prem was truly a sage a very 
down-to-earth, unassuming, humble and humorous one. After our initial 
visit, Tim went back once more by himself. I believe that with Krishna 
Prem Tim was probably the closest that he ever came to accepting a 
spiritual teacher. In Flashbacks he called Krishna Prem "The Wisest Man 
in India." 

For me, the meeting with Sri Krishna Prem was also a turning 
point. When he talked about the so-called "left-hand path" of the 
siddhas, the tantric yogis of ancient times, he interpreted this to be the 
path of integrating the weaker, less developed function. I realized that 
my meetings and readings with Lama Govinda were only strengthening 
my intellect, which was already over-developed. I suddenly got the 
strong feeling that I should go back to the States so that I could piece 
together my fractured romance with the insecure Kathy. In addition, it 
was obvious that the relationship between Tim and Nanette was under- 
going increasing strain, and I felt I should leave them alone to work 
things out. It was after all their honeymoon. What was I doing there? I 
left shortly thereafter. 



20 PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS + TIMOTHY LEARY 



When I returned to Millbrook, it was to a scene of depressing chaos. 
A seedy, drugged-out guy met me at the door wearing my clothes. 
Gone were the serenity and glowing warmth of Castalia weekends, the 
joyous enthusiasm for consciousness exploration in a family of seekers. 
Instead, the Millbrook mansion had become an Addams Family house of 
horrors, a scene of decadence and depravity and dabbling in black arts, 
of lost souls wandering around in permanently drugged states, of vicious 
conflicts leading at times to physical violence. Kathy's love for me had 
turned to hate, as she blamed my and Tim's absence for the destruction 
of the Millbrook dream. When Tim and Nanette, their relationship in 
tatters, returned to Millbrook some weeks later, he wrote of "the 
changes that had converted Millbrook from a community of scholars 
and scientists to a playground for rowdy omnisexuals." Millbrook had 
become our Morbio Inferiore. 

The league of seekers did, however, recover from this debacle. Leary, 
Alpert and myself all went onto other phases of the story, told in other 
books, other high adventures in consciousness exploration. Nanette went 
on to marry an American Buddhist monk, who became an eminent 
scholar-teacher of Tibetan Buddhism; one of their daughters is a famous 
film actress. A tantric love goddess arrived for Timothy in the form of 
the very beautiful Rosemary Woodruff. The Millbrook community 
flowered again with music, meditation, laughter, creativity, happy chil- 
dren, and remarkable people. 



Leary s path after this took him increasingly into the role of pio- 
neering social change activist. His fearless honesty and brilliant mockery 
in expressing radical viewpoints made him many enemies in high places. 
He had the dubious honor of being called "the most dangerous man in 
America" by none other than Richard Nixon. He spent upwards of 50 
months in jail on several continents, an experience that left him without 
bitterness, but with razor-sharp insight into the American political sys- 
tem. He wrote 20 more books, developed theories and models of con- 
sciousness and contributed to numerous group creative projects. He 
married two more times and became a great-grandfather before his 
death in May, 1996. To hundreds of thousands of his friends and admir- 



INTRODUCTION RALPH METZNER 21 



ers, he remains one of the outstanding visionary geniuses of the 20th 
century. To me he was the perfect exemplar of one of those who in the 
last of the Psychedelic Prayers are listed as likely to be closer to the Tao 
"smiling men with bad reputations." 

I don't believe he ever again had the opportunity to devote himself 
so completely to the exploration and description of spiritual develop- 
ment, and how higher states of consciousness can be integrated into 
ongoing life. His psychedelic prayers based on the Tao Te Ching integrate 
ancient Eastern wisdom teachings with the insights of modern science, 
and the practical knowledge gained from direct experience of expanded 
states of consciousness. They provide the spiritual seeker using psyche- 
delics with an unsurpassed guidebook to the realization of the highest 
potentials of the human mind and of these amazing substances. 



Ralph Metzner 

Sonoma, California 

October, 1996 



V 




J* mo thi Le>*>, 




Hit 



Hand-drawn title-page of the 
pre-publication version. 



BiBLiOGRAPHiCAL PREFACE 

The Publishing History of Psychedelic Prayers 
with a Note on the Text of This Edition 



MICHAEL HOROWITZ 




Written while Timothy Leary was visiting India in 1965 
and finished at his celebrated commune-estate in 
Millbrook, New York the following year, Psychedelic Prayers 
is a series of 55 poems divided in six sections, adapted from 
the 37 chapters of Book I of Tao Te Ching (Way of Life), composed by 
the immortal Chinese Taoist philosopher and keeper of the Royal 
Archives, Lao Tse, in the 6th century B.C. 

Leary was drawn to the "psychedelic" quality of the ancient work. 
"My objective," he later wrote, "was to find this seed idea in each sutra 
and rewrite it in the lingua franca of psychedelia." Leary succeeded bril- 
liantly in his aim: intended for guided meditational use during LSD ses- 
sions, Psychedelic Prayers is perhaps the best-loved among his many 
books, and occupies a unique place in psychedelic literature. 

Psychedelic Prayers has an interesting publishing history. The first edi- 
tion was printed by famed Beat poet Diane di Prima at her Poets Press 
in Kerhonkson, NY, not far from Millbrook. The first edition was print- 
ed on textured paper and bound in pink wrappers; between one and 
two thousand copies were printed. The second edition was printed on 
laid paper in five different colored inks for psychedelic effect, and bound 
in yellow wrappers; two to three thousand copies of this edition were 
published (but not printed) by the Poets Press. 

Psychedelic artist Michael Bowen created a Hindu design for the 
front wrapper of both editions; the back wrapper bears the publisher's 
alchemical emblem. The author dedicated his book to William and 
Aurora Hitchcock, his Millbrook benefactors. Both editions appeared in 
the spring of 1966, about a year before the psychedelic Zeitgeist reached 
its zenith. 

University Books of New Hyde Park, NY, publishers of 



24 PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS TIMOTHY LEARY 



The Psychedelic Experience (1964), brought out the third edition in August 
1966: a photo-offset copy of the first edition, printed in dark brown ink, 
with nearly identical wrappers to the second edition, in a print run of 
5,000 copies. 

The fourth edition appeared in the early 1970s under the imprint of 
the League for Spiritual Discovery, a religious organization founded by 
Leary in 1967 and based upon the sacramental use of psychedelic sub- 
stances. Once again the text was printed by photo-offset; the front and 
back covers have entirely different designs by Dion Wright. This edition, 
published by the Mystic Arts Bookshop in Laguna Beach, is dedicated to 
The Brotherhood of Eternal Love, the legendary group of underground 
LSD distributors of the brand named Sunshine. This edition appeared 
after the author escaped prison and fled with his wife Rosemary to 
North Africa and Europe. The printing was very small, probably no 
more than 2,000 copies, and intended to raise money for the legal 
expenses of the fugitive Learys. 

The fifth North American edition is the most rare and unique. Only 
100 sets were printed in purple ink, with each poem on a separate leaf 
having a border design depicting sacred plants executed by Michael 
Green. The calligraphy was done by Daniel Raphael. Each set of sheets 
was contained within a customized wooden box with a sliding top panel 
on which the title was carved. The work was produced in Montreal in 
1972 through the efforts of Rosemary Leary, then separated from her 
husband and living underground as a fugitive. It was not intended for 
commercial sale; each leaf was supposed to represent "script" (i.e., cur- 
rency) which could be traded like a share of stock. 

The text of the Prayers varies greatly in this edition: 49 (of the 55 
total poems) were printed, one to a page (necessitating some cuts in the 
longer poems) with a number stamped on the verso of each sheet. The 
arrangement of many of the poems on the page differs from their origi- 
nal lay-out, with aesthetic considerations uppermost. Leary expressed 
satisfaction with this edition particularly the notion of poetry as 
"script," for the author and his wife had sometimes resorted to produc- 
ing impromptu manuscripts which they sold for money in order to sur- 
vive in exile. 

The first British edition, published by Academy Editions, London, 
also appeared in 1972. This edition follows the text of the first edition, 



BIBLIOGRAPHICAL PREFACE + MICHAEL HOROWITZ 



25 



and is enhanced with Chinese landscape drawings. 

The first foreign translation, a bilingual edition printed in German 
and English, appeared in Bern, Switzerland from the publisher Mantram 
in 1975 with a dust jacket designed by Swiss artist Hans Giger, later of 
Alien fame. Two other friends of the exiled Learys, the British writer 
Brian Barritt, and Swiss author Sergius Golowin, wrote introductions. 
Pirated editions of the German translation appeared from God's Press in 
Amsterdam & Kathmandu in 1975, and fromVolksverlag in Linden, 
Germany in 1982. 

A possibly unique, self-described "pre-publication manuscript" 
(actually, mimeographed) copy in the Ludlow Library bears the variant 
title Psychedelic Prayer Book. (This copy belonged to Rt. Rev. Michael 
Francis Itkin, known in New York's East Village during the mid-1960s as 
the "psychedelic priest.") The author's Harvard and Millbrook colleague 
Ralph Metzner is listed as co-author, and Rabbi Zalman Schachter 
(whose LSD trip with Leary at Millbrook is documented in High Priest) 
provided some "added commentary." In their one-page introduction, 
Leary and Metzner describe this edition as "being given to a few 
friends" with the "hope you will send us your ideas for improving" the 
work. 



Just Published 

PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS 

From the Tao Te Ching 

This First Edition is a small printing, which will be a collectors item in 
six months. 

Psychedelic vellum ninety-six pages. 

Fifty-five poems, in preparation for the session, for re-entry, odes to 
the energy process, to the genetic code, to the external and internal 
sense organs. 



Hard cover: S6.00 
Soft cover: *3.00 

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28 PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS TIMOTHY LEARY 



A NOTE ON THE TEXT OF THIS EDITION 

Two poems from PartV (V-7 and V-8) have been moved to 
Part II (where they are now II-8 and II-9) as it seemed to 
the editors these poems properly belonged to an earlier stage 
of the psychedelic experience. 
Six new poems from later chapters of the Tao Te Ching were adapted 
by the author and his wife Rosemary in Laguna Beach, California about 
two years after the first publication of the book, and published in the 
January 17, 1969 issue of New York City's underground newspaper the 
East Village Other under the title "Poems on the Conduct of Life." The 
text of the poems is preceded by a 600-word preface in which the 
author discusses, at times from new perspectives, the importance of the 
Tao Te Ching, and states his intention of publishing "a newTaoist guide- 
book which could be called How To Live The Turned-On Life In An 
Uptight Society." Five of the poems are reprinted here in newly edited 
versions (the sixth poem is an experimental sound poem that is better 
recited than printed). 

A final poem has been added at the end of the present edition. 
"Homage to the Awe-full Seer," the longest poem in the book, was 
originally published in Psychedelic Review no. 9 in 1967. Although not a 
translation from the Tao te Ching, the theme of the poem closely associ- 
ates it with the wisdom-message of the ancient Chinese text and the 
impact made by the sage who wrote it. 

Regarding the text of this edition, readers familiar with the original 
1966 edition will notice occasional revision. The editors, who have all 
worked closely with Timothy Leary on literary projects, have been long 
aware of Leary s penchant for revising often substantially each of his 
books at the time of their re-publication. During the last months of his 
life Timothy knew of the plan to republish Psychedelic Prayers which 
pleased him greatly but was too ill to work on the new edition. He 
made it clear that he expected us to make changes we deemed necessary 
("It's your call," he liked to say). 

Ralph Metzner, co-author with Leary and Richard Alpert of The 
Psychedelic Experience (1964), assisted Leary when he first produced these 
translations in India in 1965, and as noted earlier is listed as co-author in 
the pre-publication, mimeographed edition of Psychedelic Prayers. 



BIOGRAPHICAL PREFACE + MICHAEL HOROWITZ 29 



Rosemary Leary, who became engaged to the author while he was 
still completing work on this book, recited the prayers with her husband 
at public events during the mid-1960s, making revisions in the text as 
they went along; she worked on the adaptations of the additional poems 
published in 1969, and was responsible for the remarkable 1972 wooden 
box edition. 

Michael Horowitz, the author's archivist and bibliographer, has per- 
formed editorial work on Leary s books for 25 years, from Jail Notes 
(1970) to Chaos and Cyberculture (1994). 

While the editors had the author's encouragement and blessing in 
taking on the daunting task of re-editing this sacred text of psychedelic 
literature, they take full responsibility for any and all revisions, as 
Timothy Leary passed away (May 31, 1996) shortly before we began 
working on this new edition. 

Note: The source for the bibliographical data in this article is: An Annotated 
Bibliography of Timothy Leary by Michael Horowitz, Karen Walls, and 
Billy Smith (Archon Books, 1988). Acknowledgement is also made to The Fitz 
Hugh Ludlow Memorial Library, where the printed works herein described and 
illustrated were made available for examination. 



mmmmmmmmmmm 




Rosemary and Timothy at their home 
in Berkeley in 1968. 




PREFACE 

ROSEMARY WOODRUFF LEARY 

In August 1965, a few months after we first met, Tim 
picked me up at my apartment in Manhattan and took me 
to the Millbrook Estate for a week or so before I left for 
California. 
Tim led me to the tower room. The window overlooking the vast 

grounds was framed by a Hoya plant whose blossoms scented the air. 

Later that evening he brought a bottle of wine and a tattered manuscript 

to read by candlelight. His voice caressed me softly. 

Gate of the Soft Mystery 
Gate of the Dark Woman 

I stayed awake all that night puzzling over his adaptations of Lao 
Tse. I didn't go to California. 

Recently, I rediscovered a manuscript titled 1 08 Memories of Our 
Present Incarnation which Tim wrote for me while in the California State 
Prison at San Luis Obispo in 1970. In this passage Tim recalls writing 
one of the poems in Psychedelic Prayers: 

"Number 1 1. Millbrook During LSD session. We went 
upstairs and made love. I wrote the sex chakra poem in 
memory of your trembling earth beauty. Nov. '66" 

A later reference in the same manuscript refers to reading the 
poems together on-stage during the road tour of the Psychedelic 
Celebrations later that winter: 

"Number 42. Standing on stage at celebration reciting our 
poetry and hearing your soft voice echoing back. What 
beauty our love created for the world." 



32 



PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS + TIMOTHY LEARY 



I'd like to think so. 

The next few years brought summers of love and seminars, fall lec- 
ture tours, winter harassments, arrests and trials that culminated with 
Tim's prison escape and our flight to exile in Algeria and Switzerland. 

In the winter of 1972, after Tim and I had gone our separate ways, 
the Psychedelic Prayers re-entered my life. A fugitive, I was hiding out in a 
farmhouse near Ste. Agathe in Quebec. The snow reached above the first 
floor and the electricity was out. Again, by candlelight, I reread and edit- 
ed the poems while my friend Brigitte collated the pages and baked oat- 
meal cookies and her husband Sergai made the beautiful boxes to con- 
tain them. We never made any money from this loving endeavor, but 
Brigitte and Sergai Mars, with their baby daughter Sunflower, traded 
them for food in health stores across the country. Brigitte later gave 
these sets to Dr. Oscar Janiger, Terence McKenna, and distinguished 
herbalists. Brigitte is including a few of the poems in her new book on 
herbs. 

If you knew how to listen, 

the seed would hum you a seed song. 

It has been an immense pleasure to once again read and edit Tim's 
work, this time in the company of dear friends Ralph Metzner and 
Michael and Cindy Horowitz. 

I hope that lovers and seekers finding these poems will 

Keep in touch 

and be at home 
everywhere. 



Rosemary Woodruff Leary 
1996 



PREFACE + ROSEMARY WOODRUFF LEARY 33 



Beloved - 

Here are forty-nine sutras baser 1 on Book I of the 
Tao Te Ching . 

This pre-publication manuscript is being given to a few 
friends. We hope they will enlighten you. We hope you will send 

us your ideas for improving them. 

The sutras are divided into five sections. For use in a 

psychedelic session it is best to select two or three from each 

section. They should be read very slowly and in a serene voice. 

They should be considered prayers to be whispered. 

Part I is read before the session. The sutra about the 
guide is especially important since it sets up the contract for 
conducting the session. 

Part II contains sutras about pure energy. These prayers 
are to be read at the highest point in a session. 

Part III concerns biological or seed energy and can be 
read during the very "high" points of the session. 

Part IV is prepared for experiments in body awareness- 
breaking through to cakras or somatic nerve centers. 

Part V is t* be read towards the end of the session- between 
the eighth and twenty-fourth hour. 

Keep in touch.... 

T.L. 
R.M. 



Early version of Introduction. 




Timothy Leary on 
the cover of the 
San Francisco Oracle 
(December 16, 1966). 




FOREWORD 

TIMOTHY LEARY 

The psychedelic or visionary experience releases a wide 
range of awareness-of-energy and tunes us in to patterns of 
neurological signals which are usually censored from mental 
life. 

Understanding, description, and intelligent use of these released 
energies have puzzled scholars for thousands of years. Today, LSD ses- 
sions puzzle, enrapture, awe, and confuse. 

Mainly they confuse. 

During the last five years, 1960-65, we have witnessed a psychedelic 
revolution. Consider the statistics. 

Over one hundred and fifty million Americans share the same 
imprinted symbol system tribal language and rituals. 

Of these, a good ten million have taken the first psychedelic step 
and experienced the neural level of consciousness have transcended 
symbols and contacted raw energy hitting their nerve endings. Here we 
include the marijuana smokers, the adepts in hatha yoga, and meditators. 

Another group, at least 500,000 Americans, have contacted cellular 
consciousness have had experiences which transcend both symbolic 
game and the sensory apparatus. We include here the peyote eaters, the 
mushroom eaters, the LSD cult. If we add those millions of persons who 
have had an involuntary psychedelic experience, those institutionalized 
mystics we call psychotic, the ranks of this group swell to astounding 
proportions. More than any other group, psychotics need the sort of 
training and guidance provided by psychedelic manuals. They are 
whirled into realms of raw sensory bombardment and cellular hallucina- 
tion unprepared and socially anathematized. If psychotics were trained 
in the use of psychedelic manuals such as this volume they would have 
some understanding and control of the multi-level, multiple-exposure 
experiences we call hallucinatory. 

Next we have those whose consciousness has gone beyond game, 
gone beyond direct sensory awareness, gone beyond cellular flow and 



mmmmmtm*** 



36 PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS TIMOTHY LEARY 



contacted the molecular and elemental energies that crackle and vibrate 
within the cellular structure. Those who have taken large doses of LSD, 
mescaline, DMT, and experienced what the eastern psychologists call 
the "white light," the "void," the "inner light." 

Each of these psychedelic levels neural, cellular, molecular are 
beyond symbols, incoherent to the symbolic mind. And each of these 
levels of consciousness is different from the others. This wide spectrum 
of whirling energies all uncharted and unlabelled confronts the psy- 
chedelic explorer. 

So what is the net effect of these millions of visionary voyages? 

A linguistic babel. 

A chaos of potentiality. 

A confusion of promise. 

Most of these psychedelic voyagers are now aware of the limitless 
realities stored in the nervous systems, but there is no conception of the 
meaning and use of these potentials. 

There are of course no pat solutions, no easy answers provided by 
LSD. On the contrary, every paradox, every ambiguity, every problem of 
static-symbolic life is intensified, raised to exponential powers. Where 
there once was a blind robot symbolic uncertainty (Johnson or 
Goldwater?), there is now an uncertainty compounded and multiplied 
by the knowledge of the illusory nature of routine reality and the exis- 
tence of countless realities. 

From the beginning of the Harvard-IFIF-Castalia exploration into 
consciousness two facts were apparent. First, that there were no extant 
maps, models, myths, theories, languages to describe the psychedelic 
experience. Second, that the temptation to impose old models, prema- 
ture theories must be resisted. 

No current philosophic or scientific theory was broad enough to 
handle the potential of the 13 billion-cell computer. 

Our decision then was to maintain an open posture, to collect data 
on psychedelic sessions from a wide variety of subjects, in a wide variety 
of settings, and to continue to look for better models and theories to 
explain the psychedelic experience. 

It became apparent that, in order to run exploratory sessions, manu- 
als and programs were necessary to guide subjects through transcenden- 
tal experiences with a minimum of fear and confusion. Rather than start 



FOREWORD + TIMOTHY LEARY 37 



de novo using our own minds and limited experiences to map out the 
voyage, we turned to the only available psychological texts which dealt 
with consciousness and its alterations the ancient books of the East. 

The Tibetan Book of the Dead is a psychedelic manual incredibly 
specific about the sequence and nature of experiences encountered in 
the ecstatic state. A revision of this text published under the title The 
Psychedelic Experience was our first attempt at session programming. 

For the last two years we have been working with another old, 
time-tested psychedelic manual the Chinese text Tao Te Ching, 
sometimes translated as The Way of Life. 

Written some 2600 years ago by one or several philosophers known 
to us now as "the old fellow" (LaoTse), this text is still timelessly mod- 
ern and will remain so for thousands of years to come as long as man 
has the same sort of nervous system and deals with the range of energies 
he now encounters. 

The Tao Te Ching deals with energy. Tao is best translated as "ener- 
gy," as energy process. Energy in its pure unstructured state (the E of 
Einstein's equation) and energy in its countless, temporary states of 
structure (the M of Einstein's equation). 

The Tao is an ode to nuclear physics, to life, to the genetic code, to 
that form of transient energy structure we call "man," to those most stat- 
ic, lifeless forms of energy we call man's artifacts and symbols. 

The message of the Tao Te Ching is that all is energy, all energy 
flows, all things are continually transforming. 

The Tao Te Ching is a series of 81 verses which celebrate the flow of 
energy, its manifestation and, on the practical side, the implications of 
this philosophy for man's endeavors. Most of the pragmatic sutras of the 
Tao were directed towards the ruler of a state. How can the king and his 
ministers use this knowledge of the energy powers to govern harmo- 
niously? 

Like all great biblical texts, the Tao has been rewritten and re-inter- 
preted in every century and this is as it should be. The terms for Tao 
change in each century. In our times Einstein rephrases it, quantum the- 
ory revises it, the geneticists translate it in terms of DNA and RNA, but 
the message is the same. 

The practical aspects of the Tao must also be rewritten and adapted 
to the everyday situation. The advice given by the smiling philosophers 



38 PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS + TIMOTHY LEARY 



of China to their emperor can be applied to how to run your home, 
your office, and how to conduct a psychedelic session. 

The Tao Te Ching is divided into two books the first comprising 
thirty-seven chapters, the second forty-four. 

In this volume of Psychedelic Prayers from the Tao Te Ching you will 
find fifty-six poems which are based on the thirty-seven chapters of 
Book I of the original. 

These translations from English to psychedelese were made while 
sitting under a bamboo tree on a grassy slope of the Kumaon Hills over- 
looking the snow peaks of the Himalayas. 

The work went like this. I had nine English translation of the Tao. I 
would select a Tao chapter and read and reread all nine English versions 
of it. Each translator, of course, made his own interpretation of the flow- 
ing calligraphy. Nine western minds. But after hours of rereading and 
meditation the essence of the poem would slowly bubble up. The aim 
was to relate this essence theme to psychedelic sessions. Slowly a psy- 
chedelic version of the chapter would emerge. 

The first draft version would then be put under the psychedelic 
microscope. For several years I have pursued the yoga of one LSD ses- 
sion every seven days. The neurological amplification of cannabis was also 
available. Each time our Moslem cook walked down to the village he 
would bring back a crayon-size stick of attar. Attar means essence. The 
essence resin of the marijuana plant is sometimes called hashish. 

LSD opened up the lenses of cellular and molecular consciousness. 
Attar cleansed the windows of the senses. 

During these sessions I would read the most recent draft of the Tao 
poems. A humbling experience for the poet to have his words exposed 
to the pitiless magnification of the psychedelic perspective. 

Psychedelic poetry, like all psychedelic art, is crucially concerned 
with flow. Each psychedelic poem is carefully tailored for a certain time 
in the sequence of the session. Simplicity and diamond purity are 
important. Intellectual flourishes and verbal pyrotechnics are painfuly 
obvious to the "turned on" nervous system. 

During these examinations a ruthless process of polishing, cutting 
away takes place. Slowly the most blatant redundancies and mentalisms 
were pruned. 

Each poem in this volume has been exposed to several dozen 



FOREWORD * TIMOTHY LEARY 39 



appraisals by lysergicized nervous systems. Each psychedelic "try-out" is 
different. People s reactions vary. What is essence-simplicity to one, is 
truism to another. The "right" metaphor for one is contrived to another. 

Most readers have found five or so poems in this collection which 
vibrate in tune to their deepest resonances. The rest do not pass the 
inspection of their psychedelic enlargers. 

The fifty-six hymns have been divided into six groups: 

Part I. Preparatory prayers to be read before the session. These 
hymns apply the creative quietude of Lao Tse to the technique of run- 
ning a psychedelic session. 

Part II. Prayers invoking pure energy flow, molecular or atomic 
energy beyond symbol, sense-organ or cellular energy. These prayers are 
to be read slowly and ethereally during the "high" points which usually 
come during the first three hours of an LSD session. 

Part III. Prayers invoking cellular consciousness, seed energy. Odes 
glorifying the DNA code to be read from the third to sixth hour of the 
LSD session. 

Part IV. Prayers invoking sensory experiences registered by the 
external sense organs. Hymns glorifying the direct awareness of vision, 
hearing, touch, smell, taste to be read from the sixth to ninth hours of 
the LSD session or during sessions involving neural ecstatagenic agents 
such as marijuana, low doses of LSD, hatha yoga, meditation. 

Part V. Prayers invoking sensory experiences registered by internal 
sense organs, visceral awareness from the nerve plexes mediating elimi- 
nation, sex, heart, lungs, and the frontal cortex. These hymns can be read 
during the sixth to ninth hours of an LSD session when the subject has 
cut himself off from external stimulation. 

Part VI. Re-imprinting prayers designed to guide the subject dur- 
ing the period of re-entry (nine to 24 hours), while the subject is 
returning to the symbolic world and the post-session imprint is being 
formed. 



40 PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS TIMOTHY LEARY 



These divisions are based on the theory of levels of consciousness 
developed during six years of psychedelic research and included in Static 
and Ecstatic Consciousness [this book remains unpublished editor] . 

This mapping of consciousness is based on the neurological and bio- 
chemical anatomy of the human body. 

The theory is simple. 

Consciousness is energy received by structure. 

There are as many dimensions of consciousness as there are struc- 
tures in the body to receive and decode energy. 

Any high school text in biology can be used to define the dimen- 
sions of consciousness. 

1. There is the symbolic mind that fraction of the nervous system 
which perceives, discriminates, interprets, remembers learned (i.e., con- 
ditioned) cues selectively imposed on the kaleidoscope of sensation. This 
is the imprinted mind. The prayers in Part VI of this volume are to be 
used during the latter stages of the psychedelic experience when the re- 
imprinting process begins to impose stasis on the ecstatic flow. 

2. The nervous system defines the level of neural consciousness 
direct, symbol-free registration of energies by nerve endings. The prayers 
in Part IV of this volume are hymns to the five exterior senses. Odes of 
gratitude and reverent readiness to attend to the tattoo of energies hit- 
ting the visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory and gustatory sense bulbs. 

3. Interoceptive sensations are messages from internal organs. Most 
of these sensations are excluded from symbolic consciousness. Tibetan 
Buddhists and Tantric Hindus have worked for centuries with methods 
of contacting interior sensations and maps for symbolizing them. These 
levels of internal consciousness are called chakras. PartV of this volume 
includes hymns to five classes of internal sensations messages from the 
eliminative, sexual, cardiac, respiratory and fore-brain centers. 

4. The unit of life, the building block of the tissues and organs medi- 
ated by the nervous system, is the cell. The cell is a highly complicated 
structure for registering and transforming energy. Every cell in your 
body is an organization network more complicated than the city of 



FOREWORD TIMOTHY LEARY 41 



New York. The cell registers and decodes energy and remembers. The 
cell is in communicative contact with the grosser level of consciousness 
of the nervous system. The brain of the cell is DNA.The afferent-effer- 
ent nervous system of the cell is RNA. Part III of this volume is made 
up of hymns praising the power and ancient wisdom of the cell, the 
seed consciousness of DNA. 

5. Cells are composed of smaller structures amino acid molecules 
and atomic elements. These structures receive and decode energy. They 
are older, wiser, more powerful than cells. The atom uses molecules and 
cells the way the DNA code uses tissues, organs and nervous systems 
and the way the symbolic mind uses cars and tractors. Part II of this 
volume praises the wisdom of molecular and atomic process, prepares 
you for this awesome level of consciousness and guides you through it. 

6. Part I of this volume collects those Tao prayers which are relevant 
to guiding a psychedelic session. These prayers are not specific to any 
particular level of consciousness. They present the philosophy of creative 
quietude passed on by Lao Tse. 



The Tao manual, like all other psychedelic texts, must be studied 
intensively, the detailed theory of energy transformations thoroughly 
learned, and the commentary notes for those prayers selected for the 
session reread several times. 

Psychedelic poetry should be read aloud (or taped) at a slow tempo, 
in a low natural voice. The prayers are best read or taped by one who is 
"high" at the time. Any tension, artificiality or game-playing on the part 
of the reader stands out in embarrassing relief. 

Read by the static intellect imprinted to symbols, and inundated by 
the verbosity of our culture, these sutras are simply another sequence of 
lifeless words. But to the consciousness released from imprinted statics 
these prayers can become precise bursts of trembling energy and breath- 
less meaning. 

You will wonder, perhaps, at the use of the term "prayer" to label 
these sutras. 

Prayer is ecstatic poetry. Psychedelic communication. 



42 PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS TIMOTHY LEARY 



Ordinary, static communication in terms of prose symbols, is game. 
Mind addressing mind. 

You cannot describe the ecstatic moment in static terms. 

You cannot (without regret) communicate during the ecstatic 
moment in static prose. 

You cannot produce ecstasy with static symbol sequences. 

When you are in a psychedelic state out beyond symbols game 
communication seems pointless. Irrelevant. Inappropriate. Inadequate. 

There is no need to communicate because everything is already in 
communication. You are plugged into the multiplex network of energy 
exchanges. 

But there are those transition moments of terror, of isolation, of rev- 
erence, of gratitude... when there comes that need to communicate. 

The need to communicate with the non-game energy source that 
you sense in yourself and around you. 

And there is the need, at exactly that moment, for a language which 
is not mental or cliche. A straight, pure, "right" non-game language. 

This is prayer. 

Mantra. 

Ejaculation. 

There are moments in every psychedelic session when there comes 
that need to communicate at the highest and best level you are capable 
of. 

This need has been known and sensed for thousands of years. All 
prayers are originally psychedelic communications with higher freer 
energies tuning yourself in to the billion-year-old energy dance. 

Conventional prayers, for the most part, have degenerated into game 
rituals. Slogans. Meaningless verbalizations. Appeals for game help. 

But that crucial non-game terror-reverence awe-full moment 
comes... 

There comes that time when the ecstatic cry is called for. 



FOREWORD TIMOTHY LEARY 



43 



At that time, you must be ready to pray. 

To go beyond yourself. To contact energy beyond your game. 

At that time you must be ready to pray. 

When you have lost the need to pray. . . 

You are a dead man in a world of dead symbols. 

Pray for life. 

Pray for life. 



Timothy Leary 

Kumaon Hills, Almora, India, 1965 

Millbrook, New York, 1966 



PRBYER5 FORPREPARAtlOn 

HOMAGE TO LAO TSE 

I - 1 The Guide 

1-2 When the Harmony Is Lost 

1-3 Life Seed Death 

1-4 Let There Be Simple Natural Things 

1-5 All Things Pass 

1-6 The Message of Posture 



PART I PRAYERS FOR PREPARATION 41 



&5 

The Guide 



In the greatest sessions 

One does not know that there is a guide 

In the next best sessions 
One praises the guide 

It is worse when 
One fears the guide 
Or when one pays him 

If the guide lacks trust in the people 
The trust of the people will be lacking 

The wise guide guards his words 
And sits serenely 

When the greatest session is over 

The people will say: 

"It all happened naturally" 

"It was so simple, we did it all ourselves." 



48 PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS + TIMOTHY LEARY 



When The Harmony Is Lost 

When the harmony is lost 

Then come clever discussions and 

"Wise men" appear 



When the unity is lost 
Then come "friends" 

When the session is plunged 

Into disorder 

Then there are "doctors" 



PART I PRAYERS FOR PREPARATION 49 

Life, light, love 
Seed, sun, son 
Death, daughter, dna 

Hold in reverence 

This Great Symbol of Transformation 

And the whole world comes to you 

Comes to you without harm 

Dwells in common wealth 

Dwells in the union of Heaven and Earth 

Offer music . . . food . . . wine . . . 
And the passing guest will stay a while 

But the molecular message 

In its passage through the mouth 

Is without flavor 

It cannot be seen 

It cannot be heard 

It cannot be exhausted by use 

It remains 



50 PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS TIMOTHY LEARY 

Let There Be Simple Natural Things 
During The Session 

Let there be simple, natural things 
to contact during the session- 
hand woven cloth 

uncarved wood 

ancient music 

flowers-growing things 

burning fire 

a touch of earth 

a splash of water 

fruit . . . good bread . . . cheese 

wine 

sacred smoke 

candles 

temple incense 

a warm hand 

anything more than five hundred years old 

Of course it is always best to be 
Secluded with nature 



PART I PRAYERS FOR PREPARATION 51 



All Things Pass 

All things pass 

A sunrise does not last all morning 
All things pass 

A cloudburst does not last all day 
All things pass 

Nor a sunset all night 

But Earth . . . sky . . . thunder . . . 

wind . . . fire . . . lake . . . 

mountain . . . water . . . 
These always change 

And if these do not last 
Do man's visions last? 
Do man's illusions? 

During the session 
Take things as they come 

All things pass 



52 PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS TIMOTHY LEARY 

CLr O 

The Message Of Posture 

During the session 
Observe your body 
Mandala of the universe 

Observe your body 

Of ancient design 

Holy temple of consciousness 

Central stage of the oldest drama 

Observe its structured wonders 
Skin . . . hair . . . tissue 
Bone . . . vein . . . muscle 
Net of nerve 

Observe its message 
Does it merge or does it strain? 
Does it rest serene on sacred ground 
Or tilt, propped up by wire and sticks? 

On tiptoe one cannot stand for long 
Tension retards the flow 

Superfluous noise and redundant action 
Stand out-square, proud, cramped 
Against the harmony 

Observe the mandala of your body 




ART 




The EXPERiEncE of 

ELEIIIEnTAL EF[ERY 



HOMAGE TO THE ATOM 



II- 1 


That Which Is Called the Tao 


II -2 


Ethereal Pool 


II- 3 


Jewelled Indifference 


II -4 


Falling Free 


II- 5 


Sheathing the Self 


II- 6 


Manifestation of the Mystery 


II- 7 


Please Do Not Clutch at the Gossamer Web 


II- 8 


Hold Fast to the Void 


II -9 


Take In-Let Go 




?% #8 



PART II * THE EXPERIENCE OF ELEMENTAL ENERGY 55 




That Which Is Called The Tao 
Is Not The Tao 

The flow of energy . . . 
Here ... It ... Is .. . 

Nameless 

Timeless 

Speed of light 

Float . . . beyond fear . . . 

Float . . . beyond desire . . . 

Into this Mystery of Mysteries 

Through this Gate of All Wonder 



56 PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS + TIMOTHY LEARY 




Ethereal Pool Without Source 

Empty bowl of radiance 
Full of starry universe 
Silent void 
Shimmering 
Ancestor of all things 

Here 

All sharpness rounded 
All wheels glide along 
Soft tracks of light 

Ethereal pool without source 

Preface to life 



PART II * THE EXPERIENCE OF ELEMENTAL ENERGY 51 




Jewelled Indifference 

Galactic play 
Belted radiance 
Lethal spectrum 
Restless diamond eye 

Solar 
So long 
So long? 

Jewelled indifference 

Where's home? 
Jewelled indifference 

Where am I? 
Jewelled indifference 

I want to go back! 
Jewelled indifference 

Help! I don't understand! 
Jewelled indifference 

Is it all a dream? 

WARNING! 

SOLAR SHUTTERS OPENING 
LETHAL LOVE RADIATION BEWARE 
FATAL UNITY BLISS FUSION 



58 PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS + TIMOTHY LEARY 



All right. Who's next? 

"The sound man faces the passing of human 

generations 
immune as to a sacrifice of straw dogs" 



Good bye now 




Glide into fusion 




Relentless diamond 


eye 


There 




We 




Go 




Good 




Bye 





PART II THE EXPERIENCE OF ELEMENTAL ENERGY 59 





Falling Free 

Law of gravity . . . falling free 
Falling free . . . the root of lightness 

Repose . . . the seed of movement 
Stillness . . . the master of agitation 

Gravity . . . falling free 



60 PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS TIMOTHY LEARY 





Sheathing The Self 

The play of energy endures 
Beyond striving 

The play of energy endures 
Beyond body 

The play of energy endures 
Beyond life 

Out here 

Float timeless 

Beyond striving 



PART II THE EXPERIENCE OF ELEMENTAL ENERGY 61 





Manifestation Of The Mystery 

Gazing, we do no see it 
We call it empty space 

Listening, we do not hear it 
We call it silence 

Reaching, we do not grasp it 
We call it intangible 

But here ... we spin through it 
Electric, silent, subtle 



62 PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS + TIMOTHY LEARY 



I - 





Please Do Not Clutch At The Gossamer Web 

All in Heaven 

On Earth below 

A crystal fabric 

Sacred gossamer web 

Grabbing hands shatter it 

Watch closely this shimmering mosaic 

Silent . . . 
Glide in 
Harmony 



PART II + THE EXPERIENCE OF ELEMENTAL ENERGY 63 



I - 





Hold Fast To The Void 

Notice how this space 
Between Heaven and Earth 
Is like a bellows 

Always full, always empty 

Come in here, go out there 

Breathing . . . 
Silence 

This is no time for talk 
Better to hold fast to the void 



64 



PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS TIMOTHY LEARY 





Take In-Let Go 

To breathe in 

You must first breathe out 

Let go 

To hold 

You must first open your hand 

Let go 



To be warm 

You must first be naked 

Let go 




The EXPERiEncE of 

SEED-CELL EE[ERY 

HOMAGE TO DNA 

III-l The Serpent Coil of DNA 

III-2 Prehistoric Origins of DNA 

III-3 Clear Water 

III-4 Returning to the Source 

III-5 Lao Tse's Mind 

III-6 Transfiguration Exercises 

III-7 Tree Above-Tree Below 

III-8 Fourfold Representation 

III-9 The Seed Light 

111-10 This Is It 

III-ll Gate of the Soft Mystery 

111-12 The Lesson of Seed 






PART III THE EXPERIENCE OF SEED-CELL ENERGY 61 




The Serpent Coil Of DNA 

We meet it everywhere 
But do not see its front 

We follow it everywhere 
But do not see its back 

When we embrace this ancient serpent coil 
We are masters of the moment 
And feel no break in the curling 
Back to primeval beginnings 

This may be called 

Unravelling the clue of the life process 



68 PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS TIMOTHY LEARY 




Prehistoric Origins Of DNA 

Its rising is not bright 
Nor its setting dark 

Unceasing, continuous 

Branching out in roots innumerable 

Forever sending forth the serpent coil 

Of living things 

Mysterious as the formless existence 

To which it returns 

Coiling back 
Beyond mind 

We say only it is 
Formed from the formless 
Life from spiral void 



PART III THE EXPERIENCE OF SEED-CELL ENERGY 69 




Clear Water 

The seed of mystery 
Lies in muddy water 

How can we fathom this muddiness? 
Water becomes clear through stillness 

How can we become still? 
By moving with the stream 



70 PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS TIMOTHY LEARY 




Returning To The Source-Repose 

Be empty 

Watch quietly while the ten thousand forms 

Swim into life and return to the source 

Do nothing 
Return to the source 

Deep repose is the sign 

That you have reached the appointed goal 

To return to the source is to discover 
The eternal law of seed 

He who returns to this eternal law is enlightened 

Being enlightened he is serene 

Serene he is open-hearted 

Open-hearted he is beyond social games 

Being beyond social games he is in tune with seed 

In tune with seed he endures 

Until the end of his life he is not in peril 



PART III + THE EXPERIENCE OF SEED-CELL ENERGY 11 




Lao Tse's Mind Becomes Pre-occupied 

With A Very Difficult Subject: 

To Describe The Production 

Of Material Forms 

By The Tao 

Is it a dream? 
Shadowy 
Elusive 
Invisible 

All things, all images move slowly 
Within shimmering nets 

Here essence endures 
From here all forms emerge 
Back from this moment 
To the ancient beginning 



12 PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS + TIMOTHY LEARY 




Transfiguration Exercises 

What was inert . . . moves 
What was dead .... lives 
What was drab . . . radiates 

Galactic time has labored to produce 

This moment 

Exquisite 

The ancient saying that the isolated part 
Becomes whole 
Was spoken wisely 

Seed flows 
All forms glow 

Remain quiet . . . 

Pulsate 

In harmony 



PART III THE EXPERIENCE OF SEED-CELL ENERGY 73 




The Tree Above-The Tree Below 

What is above is below 

What is without is within 

What is to come is in the past 

Tall . . . deep . . . tree . . . green . . . branching . . . leaf 

Root . . . above . . . below . . . thrusting . . . coiling 

Sky . . . earth . . . stem . . . root 

Leaf. . . green . . . sap 

Soil ... air 

Seed 

Soil . . . visible 

Hidden . . . breathing . . . sucking 

Bud . . . ooze . . . sun . . . damp 

Light . . . dark . . . bright . . . decay . . . laugh 

Tear . . . vein . . . rain . . . mud . . . branch . . . root 

The wood carvings await 

Within each uncut branch 

The carver s knife 



74 PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS TIMOTHY LEARY 




Fourfold Representation Of The Mystery 

Before Heaven and Earth 
There was something nebulous 
Tranquil . . . effortless 
Permeating universally 
Revolving soundlessly 
Fusing 

It may be regarded as the Mother 
Of all organic forms 

Its name is not known nor its language 
But it is called Tao 

The ancient sages called it "great" 
The Great Tao 

Great means in harmony 
In harmony means tuned in 
Tuned in means going far 
Going far means returning 
To the harmony 

The Tao is great 

The coil of life is great 



PART III THE EXPERIENCE OF SEED-CELL ENERGY 15 



The body is great 

The human is designed to be great 

There are in existence four great notes 
The human is made to be one thereof 

When you place yourself in harmony with your body 
The body tunes itself to the slow unfolding of life 
Life flows in harmony with the Tao 

All proceeds 
Naturally 
In tune 



16 PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS TIMOTHY LEARY 




The Seed Light 

The seed light shines everywhere 
All forms derive life from it 

When bodies are created 
It does not take possession 

It clothes and feeds the ten thousand things 
And does not disturb their illusions 

Magical helix . . . smallest form 
Mother of all forms 

The living are born, flourish and disappear 
Without knowing their seed creator 
Helix of light 

In all nature it is true that the wiser 
The older and the greater 
Reside in the smaller 



PART III THE EXPERIENCE OF SEED-CELL ENERGY 77 




This Is It 

The seed moves so slowly and serenely 
Moment to moment 
That it appears inactive 

The garden at sunrise breathing 
The quiet breath of twilight 
Moment to moment to moment 

When we are in tune with this blissful rhythm 
The ten thousand forms flourish 
Without effort 

It is all so simple 
Each next moment . . . 
This is it! 



78 PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS TIMOTHY LEARY 




Gate Of The Soft Mystery 

Valley of life 

Gate of the Soft Mystery 

Beginnings in the lowest place 

Gate of the Soft Mystery 

Gate of the Dark Woman 

Gate of the Soft Mystery 

Seed of all living 

Gate of the Soft Mystery 

Constantly enduring 

Gate of the Soft Mystery 

Enter 

Gently . . . 



PART III THE EXPERIENCE OF SEED-CELL ENERGY 19 




The Lesson Of Seed 

The soft overcomes the hard 
The small overcomes the large 
The gentle survives the strong 
The invisible survives the visible 

Fish should be left in deep water 
Fire and iron kept under ground 
Seed should be left free 
To grow in the rhythm of life 




fHE EXPERIEnCE OF IlEVR^L EriERY 

HOMAGE TO THE EXTERNAL SENSES 

IV - 1 Seeing 

IV - 2 Hearing 

IV - 3 Touching 

IV - 4 Smelling 

IV - 5 Tasting 



PART IV + THE EXPERIENCE OF NEURAL ENERGY 83 




Seeing 

Open naked eye 

Light . . . radiant . . . pulsating . . . 

"I've been blind all my life to this radiance" 

Retinal mandala 

Swamp mosaic of rods and cones 

Light rays hurtle into retina 186,000 miles per second 

Cross scope 

Retinal scripture 

The Blind I 

Recoils at glittering energy 

Impersonal, mocking 

Illusions of control 

"Too bright! Turn it offl 

Bring back the shadow world" 

The Seer Eye 

Vibrates to the trembling web of light 

Merges with the seen 

Merges with the scene 

Slides down optical whirlpool 

Through central needle point 



84 PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS TIMOTHY LEARY 




Hearing 

Sound waves, sound waves 
Uncover lotus membrane 
Trembling tattoo of 
Sympathetic vibrations 
Float along liquid canals 

Single piano note 
Meteor of delight 
Collides with quivering membrane 

Eternal note 
Spins slowly 
On vibrating thread 

Ear you are 
Sound waves 



PART IV + THE EXPERIENCE OF NEURAL ENERGY 85 




Touching 

Extend your free 
Nerve endings 
Fine woven tendrils 

Feel my fingers' 

Soft landing on your creviced surface 

Send sense balloon drifting up 

Through miles of skin web 

Tissue atmosphere of 

Electric thrill contact 

Soar free through epidermal space on 
Shuddering fibres of breathless pleasure 



86 PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS TIMOTHY LEARY 




Smelling 

In the sensory landscape 
Of tangled odors 
Streaming belts of perfume 
Ecstatic breath 
Musk of glands 
Sexual allure 
Heaven scent 
Elixir of life 



PART IV THE EXPERIENCE OF NEURAL ENERGY 87 




Tasting 

The thin sheath 
Covering the tongue 
Melts . . . 

Exploding taste buds 
Quivering tissue . . . 
Mouth flowers 




The EXPERlEncE of The chakms 

HOMAGE TO THE INTERNAL SENSES 

V - 1 The Root Chakra 

V - 2 The Sex Chakra 

V - 3 The Heart Chakra 

V - 4 The Throat Chakra 

V - 5 The Crown Chakra 

V - 6 Ascending Ladder of Chakras 



PARTY + THE EXPERIENCE OF THE CHAKRAS 91 



The Root Chakra 

Can you float through the universe of your body 

and not lose your way? 
Can you dissolve softly? 

Decompose? 
Can you rest 

dormant seed-light 

buried in moist earth? 
Can you drift 

single-celled 

in soft tissue swamp? 
Can you sink 

into your dark 

fertile marsh? 
Can you spiral slowly 

down the great central river? 



92 PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS TIMOTHY LEARY 




Can you float through the universe of your body 

and not lose your way? 
Can you lie quietly 

engulfed 

in the slippery union 

of male and female? 

Warm wet dance of generation 

Endless ecstacies of lovers? 
Can you offer your stamen trembling in the meadow 

for the electric penetration of pollen 

writhe together on the river bank 

coil serpentine 

while birds sing? 
Become two cells merging? 
Slide together in molecular embrace? 
Can you, murmuring 
Lose all . . . 
Fusing 



PART V + THE EXPERIENCE OF THE CHAKRAS 93 




Can you float through the universe of your body 

and not lose your way? 
Flow with fire-blood 
Through each tissued corridor? 

Can you let your heart 
pump down red tunnels 
stream into cell chambers? 

Can you center on this 
Heart-fire of love? 

Can you let your heart 
pulse for all love 
beat for all sorrow 
throb for all pain 
thud for all joy 
swell for all mankind? 

Can you let it flow 
With compassion 
For all life? 



94 PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS + TIMOTHY LEAKY 




The Throat Chakra 

Can you float through the universe of your body 

and not lose your way? 
Breathing 

Can you drift into free air? 
Rise on the trembling vibration 

of inhale and exhale? 

Can you ascend the fragile thread of breath 

into cloud-blue bliss? 
Can you spiral up through soft atmosphere 
Breathing 

Catch the moment between in-breath and out-breath 
Just there . . . 

Can you float beyond life and death 
Breathing 



PART V THE EXPERIENCE OF THE CHAKRAS 95 




The Crown Chakra 

Can you float through the universe of your body 

and not lose your way ? 
Can you focus on the billion-celled diamond network 
Pull the sensory streams into your brain 
Create an incandescent solar flare 
A thousand-petalled 
Lotus of light? 



96 PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS TIMOTHY LEARY 




Ascending Ladder Of Chakras 

Drift along your body's soft swampland 
where warm mud sucks lazily 

Feel each cell in your body communicating 
in serpent-coiled rainbow orgasm 

Feel the sensuous rhythm of time 
pulsing life along the arterial network 

Bring the ethereal breath of life into 
the white rooms of your brain 

Radiate golden light out to 
the four corners of creation 




RE-EntRY: THE EXPERIEnCE OF 

The imPRinTED world 

HOMAGE TO THE SYMBOLIC MIND 

VI - 1 The Moment of Fullness 

VI - 2 How to Escape the Trap of Beauty & Goodness 

VI - 3 For God's Sake-Feel Good 

VI - 4 Re-Imprinting with Water As Element 

VI - 5 The Lesson of Water 

VI - 6 The Utility of Nothing 

VI - 7 The Innosense of the Sensual 

VI - 8 What the Brain Said to the Mind 

VI - 9 How to Recognize the Tao Imprint 

VI - 10 Illustration of a Tao Imprint 

VI - 11 Keep In Touch 

VI - 12 Use Your Knowledge of Nature's Law 

VI - 13 The Conscious Application of Strength 

VI - 14 Victory Celebration 

VI - 15 Along the Grain 

VI - 16 He Who Knows the Center Endures 

VI - 17 Walk Carefully When You Are Among . . . 




im*w^m^wm^w^tW&w& 



PART VI + RE-ENTRY: THE EXPERIENCE OF THE IMPRINTED WORLD 99 




The Moment Of Fullness 

Grab hold tightly 
Let go lightly 

The full cup can take no more 
The candle burns down 
The taut bow must be loosed 
The razor edge cannot long endure 

Nor this moment re-lived 

So now . . . 
Grab hold tightly 
Now . . . 
Let go lightly 



100 PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS * TIMOTHY LEARY 




How To Escape The Trap 
Of Beauty And Goodness 

As you return 
Remember 

Choose beauty, so you define ugly 

Select good, so you create evil 

As you choose your joy, so you design your sorrow 

The coin you are now imprinting has two sides 

Better to return in the flow of theTao 

For indeed 

The opposites exist for you alone 
Beyond your heads and tails 
Dances the unity 

All sounds harmonize 
All games end in a tie 

Your God stands on the pitcher s mound 
nods to his catcher 
winds up and throws 
a shoulder-high fast ball 

Right into your Devil's glove 



PART VI RE-ENTRY: THE EXPERIENCE OF THE IMPRINTED WORLD 101 




For God's Sake-Feel Good 

As you return 

Remember to choose consciously 

Power is the heavy stone wrenched 
from your garden of tenderness 

Virtue is the heavy stone 
crushing your innocence 

What can be learned 
From nature is 
Harmony 

Therefore 

Shun the social 

Cuddle the elemental 

Avoid angles, lie with the round 

Shun plastic, conspire with seed 

Do no good 

But for God's sake 

Feel good 

And Nature s order will prevail 



102 PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS * TIMOTHY LEARY 

Re-Imprinting With Water As Element 

Remember 
The flow of water 

Live at the natural level 
fluid 

Live close to earth 
fluid 

Live giving life 
fluid 

Live falling free 
fluid 

Live in the stream 
fluid 



PART VI RE-ENTRY: THE EXPERIENCE OF THE IMPRINTED WORLD 1 03 




The Lesson Of Water 

What one values in the game 
is the play 

What one values in the form 
is the moment of forming 

What one values in the house 
is the moment of dwelling 

What one values in the heart 
is the beating 

What one values in the action 
is the timing 

Indeed 

Because you flow like water 

You can neither win nor lose 



104 PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS TIMOTHY LEARY 

The Utility Of Nothing 

The Nothing at the center of the thirty-spoke 
wheel . . . 

The Nothing of the clay vase . . . 

The Nothing within the four walls . . . 

The goal of the game is to go beyond the game 

You lose your mind 
To use your head 

You lose your mind 
To use your head 



PART VI RE-ENTRY: THE EXPERIENCE OF THE IMPRINTED WORLD 105 




The Innosense Of The Sensual 

Name the five colors- 
shadow the eye 

Name the eight notes- 
muffle the ear 

Name the five tastes- 
coat the tongue 

Naming stops the flow 

Win the game, lose the play 

Let innosense 
Direct your desire 



106 PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS + TIMOTHY LEAKY 




What The Brain Said To The Mind 

One to me is fame and shame 
One to me is loss and gain 
One to me is pleasure and pain 
Murmured the brain 

Looking down with compassionate curiosity 
As a beautiful woman idly 
Inspects a tiny blemish 
On her long smooth flank 

Looking down with compassionate curiosity 

At the small imprinted 

Chess board 

Of the mind's external game 

One to me is shame and fame . . . 



PART VI RE-ENTRY: THE EXPERIENCE OF THE IMPRINTED WORLD 107 




How To Recognize The Tao Imprint 

One who returns in the flow of Tao 
Brings back a mysterious penetration 
So subtle 
That it is misunderstood 

Hesitant like one who wades in 

a stream at winter 
Wary as a man in ambush 
Considerate as a welcome guest 
Fluid like a mountain stream 
Natural as uncarved wood 
Floating high like a gull 
Unfathomable like muddy water 

How can we fathom this muddiness? 
Water becomes clear through stillness 

How can we become still? 
By moving with the stream 



108 PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS TIMOTHY LEARY 

Illustration Of A Tao Imprint 

He stands apart 
serene 
curiously observing 

He stands quietly 
looking forlorn 
like an infant who has not yet 
learned to know what to smile at 

He is a little sad for what he sees 

While others enjoy their possessions 
he lazily drifts, a homeless 
do-nothing, owning nothing 

Or he moves slowly close to the land 

While others are crisp and definite 
he seems indecisive 

He does not appear to be making his way 
in the world 

He is different 

A wise infant nursing at the breast 
Of all life 

Inside 



PART VI P^E-ENTRY: THE EXPERIENCE OF THE IMPRINTED WORLD 109 




The Tao flows everywhere 

Keep in touch 
Be at home 
Everywhere 

He who loses the contact 

Is alone 

Everywhere 

Keeping in touch with the Tao 

Is called 

Harmony 



110 PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS TIMOTHY LEARY 

fQtf 

Use Your Knowledge Of Nature's Law 

Nature's way is to leave no residue 
All is absorbed 

Therefore we treasure the "least of men" 

All belongs 
All is salvaged 
Nothing is rejected 

This is called Stealing the Light . . . 
Nature's subtle secret 



PART VI RE-ENTRY: THE EXPERIENCE OF THE IMPRINTED WORLD 1 1 1 



The Conscious Application Of Strength 

Force recoils 

But 

The time comes 

When there is nothing to do 

Except act consciously 

With courage 



U2 PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS * TIMOTHY LEARY 

Victory Celebration 

Celebrate your victory 
with funeral rites 
for your slain illusions 

Wear some black at your wedding 



PART VI RE-ENTRY: THE EXPERIENCE OF THE IMPRINTED WORLD i 13 



Along The Grain 

The Tao is nameless 
Like uncarved wood 

As soon as it is carved 
There are names 

Carve carefully 
Along the grain 



114 PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS TIMOTHY LEARY 




He Who Knows The Center Endures 

Who knows the outside is clever 

Who knows the center endures 

Who masters others gains robot power 

Who comes to the center has flowering strength 

Faith of consciousness is freedom 
Hope of consciousness is strength 
Love of consciousness evokes the same in return 

Faith of seed frees 
Hope of seed flowers 
Love of seed grows 



PART VI RE-ENTRY: THE EXPERIENCE OF THE IMPRINTED WORLD 1 1 5 




Walk Carefully When You Are Among . . 

"Holy men" and 
"Righteous deeds" 
Distract from the internal 

"Learned men" 

Distract from natural wisdom 

"Professional know-how" 

Addicts people to the contrived and external 

Be respectful and compassionate 

But walk carefully when you are among 

learned men 

holy men 

doctors 

government officials 

reporters 

publishers 

professors 

religious leaders 

psychologists 

rich people 

social scientists 

women with beautiful faces 

artists and writers 

people who charge fees 

city men 



116 PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS + TIMOTHY LEARY 

movie makers 

people who want to help you 
people who want you to help them 
Christians and Jews 

For such as these, however well meaning 
Place you on their chessboard 
Addict you to their externals 
Distract you from 
The Tao within 

The lesson of the Tao is more likely 
to be found among 

gardeners 

hermits 

eccentrics 

people who build their own homes 

children 

parents who learn from their children 

amateur musicians 

serene psychotics 

animals 

those who look at sunsets 

those who walk in the woods 

beautiful women 

cooks 

people who sit by the fire 

wanderers 

bakers of bread 

couples who have been in love for years 

smiling men with bad reputations 



poeius on The conDi/cT of lIfe 

WITH ROSEMARY WOODRUFF LEARY 
(1969) 

1 Concerning Dosage and Capacity 

2 The Perfect Paradox 

3 Terra Story 

4 This Design Has No Plan 

5 What Now? 




?s^0##0^^k^^^k#^^s#mhk: 



POEMS ON THE CONDUCT OF LIFE 119 



Concerning Dosage And Capacity 

When 

I am 

Of highest capacity 

It flows through me 

When 

I am 

Of middling capacity 

I write poems about the flowing 

When 

I am 

Of low capacity 

The flow irritates me 



120 PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS TIMOTHY LEARY 



The Perfect Paradox 



The perfect 
Contains 
The imperfect 

The great design 
Contains 
Deliberate flaw 

Error 

Is the architect 

Of evolution 

The complete life 
An infinite series 
Of timely accidents 

Each blundering moment 

A perfect part 

Of the perfected hole 



[Attention Readers: if you can detect the three mistakes in 
this poem you will win a black and white pony] 



POEMS ON THE CONDUCT OF LIFE 121 




Terra Story 

From ancient times 
It has been known that 
A man and woman 
Are as rich 
As the broad land 
Through which 
They wander freely 

Sitting here 

In front of our flimsy 

Mountain cottage 

We see 

No wall 

No buildings 

No neighbors 



122 PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS + TIMOTHY LEARY 




This Design Has No Plan 

There is no pure white 

The Tao forever blending 
There is no perfect human 

The Tao forever bending 
Great space has no corners 

The Tao never ending 
Great music is faintly heard 

The Tao forever sending 
This design has no plan 

It's forever mending 

mending patching up giraffes making do mutants 
false starts bulging-eyed frogs goofs some 
catastrophic misfits smog The Timing's Off] 
Emergency Stopgap Measures Adapt Survive For 
God's Sake Don't Ask Me Why! Malthusian fuckups 
Darwinian losers not another Ice Age humus top 
soil shit There Goes My Paleolithic Garden! 

Listen sisters and brothers 

There's no shortage of anything . . . 

The Tao forever mending 

The Tao profusely lending 

Blending . . . bending . . . sending 

Forever ending 

Never ending 



POEMS ON THE CONDUCT OF LIFE 123 




What Now? 

Out of Tao 
The One 
Is born 

Out of the One 
The Two 
Divide 

Out of the Two mated 
We created 
The Three 

It's fun to blend 
But where will it end 
And what will become 
Of our coming? 

Consider the mathematics 
Clicked the DNA computer 
Softly 

One = done 

Two = nothing new 

Three = variety 

When multiplied 

10,000 forms are supplied 

With fins, feathers 

and all sorts of furry coverings 



124 PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS TIMOTHY LEARY 



What is the name 

Of this inexhaustibly inventive game? 

We inquired as we 

Lay in each others' arms. 

Will it grow tired 
Will it grow tame 
As we excel 
In playing this game 
Always cooped up 
In a permeable cell? 

Is it time to re-enter 
The center? 

What now 
Great Tao? 



tSmL. , JSg* 



HomAGE to The awe-fvll seer. 

(1967) 




In** 




vs 



Wj zfoifiiy* 



'^S*^^^^**^^^^^*^*^^^^^, 




Leary in Millbrook, 1966. 



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HOMAGE TO THE AWE-FULL SEER 121 




Homage to the Awe-full Seer 

At each beat 

in the Earth's rotating dance 

there is born " 

a momentary cluster of molecules 

possessing the transient ability to know-see-experience 

its own place in the evolutionary spiral. 

Such an organism, such an event 
senses exactly where he or she is 
in the billion-year-old ballet. 

They are able to trace back 

the history of the deoxyribonucleic thread 

of which they are both conductive element and 

current. 
They can experience the next moment 
in its million to the millionth meaning. 
Exactly that. 

Some divine seers are recognized for this unique 

capacity. 
Those that are recognized 
are called and killed by various names. 
Most of them are not recognized 
they float through life 
like a snowflake 
kissing the earth. 



128 PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS * TIMOTHY LEARY 

No one ever hears them murmur 

"Ah there" 

At the moment of impact. 

Seers are aware of each other's existence 

the way each particle in the hurtling nuclear trapeze 

is aware of other particles. 

They move too fast to give names 

to themselves or each other. 

Such people can be described in terms 

no more precise or less foolish 

than the descriptive equations of nuclear physics. 

They have no more or less meaning 

in the cultural games of life 

than electrons have in the game of chess. 

They are present but cannot be perceived or 

categorized. 
They exist at a level beyond 
the black and white squares of the game board. 
The function of " " is to teach. 

Take an apple and slice it down the middle. 
A thin red circle surrounds 

the gleaming white meat. 
In the center is a dark seed 
whose function is beyond any of your games. 
If you knew how to listen 
the seed would hum you a seed-song. 



HOMAGE TO THE AWE-FULL SEER 129 

The divine incarnates teach 

like a snowflake caught in the hand teaches. 

Once you speak the message you haye lost it. 

Once you know the message you no longer have it. 

The seed becomes a dried pit, the snowflake 

a film of water on your hand. 

Wise seers are continually 

exploding in beautiful dance. 

Like a speckled fish 

dying in your hand 

as its eye looks at you unblinking. 

Like the virus fragmenting 

divine beauty in the grasp of tissue. 

Now and then the " " sings 

words beyond rational comprehension. 
The message is always the same 
though the sounds, the scratched rhumba 
of inkmarks is always different. 

It's like Einstein's equation felt as orgasm. 
The serpent unwinds up the spine, 
mushrooms like a lotus sunflare in the skull. 
If I tell you that the apple seed message 
hums the drone of a Hindu flute 
will that stop the drone? 



130 PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS + TIMOTHY LEARY 

The secret of " " must always be secret. 

Divine sage recognized, message lost. 
Snowflake caught, pattern changed. 
They dance out the pattern without being 

recognized. 
Caught in the act, they melt in your hand. 

The message then contained in a drop of water 

involves another chase for the infinite. 

The sign of " "is change and anonymity. 

As soon as you try to glorify 

sanctify, worship, deify the seer 

you have killed him. 

Thus the Pharisees 

performed a merry, holy ballet. 

All praise to them! 

It is the Christians who kill Christ. 

As soon as you invent a symbol 

give " "a name 

you assassinate the process 

to serve your own ends. 

To speak the name of Buddha 

Christ 



HOMAGE TO THE AWE-FULL SEER 13 1 

Lao Tse 

except as a sudden ecstatic breath 

is to murder the living God 

fix him with your preservative 

razor him onto a microscope slide 

sell him for profit in your biological supply house. 

The seers have no function 

but they produce in others the ecstatic gasp 

the uncontrollable visionary laugh. 

Too much! 

So what! 

Why not! 

The stark stare of wonder. 

Awful! 

Awe-full! 



nofES 



PART I 

I - 1 Adapted fromTao Chapter 17. Elsewhere titled: "Rulers" in The 

Wisdom of Lao Tse, edited by Lin Yu tang, Modern Library, New York, 
1948; "The Unadulterated Influence" in The Texts of Taoism, translated 
by James Legge, Dover, New York, 1962. (Hereafter, the initials LYT 
designate LinYutang and the initials JL designate James Legge.) 

I - 2 Adapted fromTao Chapter 18. Elsewhere titled: "The Decline of 
Tao," LYT; "The Decay of Manners," JL. 

1-3 Adapted fromTao Chapter 35. Elsewhere titled: "The Peace of Tao," 
LYT; "The Attribute of Benevolence," JL. 

I - 4 Adapted fromTao Chapter 19. Elsewhere titled: "Realize the Simple 
Self," LYT; "Returning to the Unadulerated Influence," JL. 

I - 5 Adapted fromTao Chapter 23. Elsewhere titled: "The Dregs and 

Tumors of Virtue," LYT; "Painful Graciousness," JL. 

PART II 

II - 1 Adapted fromTao Chapter 1. Elsewhere titled: "On the Absolute 

Tao," LYT; "Embodying the Tao," JL. 

II - 2 Adapted fromTao Chapter 4. Elsewhere titled: "The Character of 
Tao," LYT; "The Fountainless,"JL. 

II - 3 Adapted fromTao Chapter 5. Elsewhere titled: "Nature," LYT; "The 
Use of Emptiness," JL. 

II - 4 Adapted fromTao Chapter 26. Elsewhere titled: "Heaviness and 
Lightness," LYT; "The Quality of Gravity," JL. 

II - 5 Adapted fromTao Chapter 7. Elsewhere titled: "Living for Others," 
LYT; "Sheathing the Light," JL. 



134 PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS TIMOTHY LEARY 



II - 6 Adapted fromTao Chapter 14. Elsewhere titled: "Prehistoric 
Origins," LYT; "The Manifestation of the Mystery," JL. 

II - 7 Adapted fromTao Chapter 29. Elsewhere titled: "Warning Against 

Interference," LYT; "Taking No Action," JL. 

II-8 Adapted fromTao Chapter 5. Elsewhere titled: "Nature," LYT; "The 
Use of Emptiness," JL. 

II-9 Adapted fromTao Chapter 36. Elsewhere titled: "The Rhythm of 
Life," LYT; "Minimizing the Light," JL. 

PART III 

III - 1 Adapted fromTao Chapter 14. Elsewhere titled: "Prehistoric 

Origins," LYT; "The Manifestation of the Mystery," JL. 

Ill - 2 Adapted fromTao Chapter 14. Elsewhere titled: "Prehistoric 
Origins," LYT; "The Manifestation of the Mystery," JL. 

Ill - 3 Adapted fromTao Chapter 15. Elsewhere titled: "The Wise Ones of 
Old," LYT; "The Exhibition of the Qualities of theTao,"JL. 

Ill - 4 Adapted fromTao Chapter 16. Elsewhere titled: "Knowing the 
Eternal Law," LYT; "Returning to the Root," JL. 

Ill - 5 Adapted fromTao Chapter 21. Elsewhere titled: "Manifestations of 
Tao," LYT; "The Empty Heart, or theTao In its Operation," JL. 

Ill - 6 Adapted fromTao Chapter 22. Elsewhere titled: "Futility of 
Contention," LYT; "Returning to Simplicity," JL. 

Ill - 7 Adapted fromTao Chapter 28. Elsewhere titled: "Keeping to the 
Female," LYT; "Returning to Simplicity," JL. 

Ill - 8 Adapted fromTao Chapter 25. Elsewhere titled: "The Four Eternal 
Models," LYT; "Representations of the Mystery," JL. 

Ill - 9 Adapted fromTao Chapter 34. Elsewhere titled: "The Great Tao 
Flows Everywhere," LYT; "The Task of Achievement," JL. 



NOTES 135 



111-10 Adapted from Tao Chapter 37. Elsewhere titled: "World Peace," LYT; 
"The Exercise of Government," JL. 

Ill 1 1 Adapted from Tao Chapter 6. Elsewhere titled: "The Spirit of the 
Valley," LYT; "The Completion of Material Forms," JL. 

111-12 Adapted from Tao Chapter 36. Elsewhere titled: "The Rhythm of 
Life," LYT; "Minimizing the Light," JL. 

PART IV 

IV 1-5 Adapted from Tao Chapter 12. Elsewhere titled: "The Senses," LYT; 

"The Repression of the Desires," JL. 

PARTV 

V 1-6 Adapted from Tao Chapter 10. Elsewhere titled: "Embracing the 

One," LYT; "Possibilities Through the Tao," JL. 

PART VI 

VI - 1 Adapted from Tao Chapter 9. Elsewhere titled: "The Danger of 

Overweening Success," LYT; "Fullness and Complacency Contrary 
to the Tao," JL. 

VI - 2 Adapted from Tao Chapter 2. Elsewhere titled: "The Rise of Relative 
Opposites," LYT; "The Nourishment of the Person," JL. 

VI - 3 Adapted from Tao Chapter 3. Elsewhere titled: "Action Without 
Deeds," LYT; "Keeping the People at Rest," JL. 

VI - 4 Adapted from Tao Chapter 8. Elsewhere titled: "Water," LYT; "The 
Placid and Contented Nature," JL. 

VI - 5 Adapted from Tao Chapter 8. Elsewhere titled: "Water," LYT; "The 
Placid and Contented Nature," JL. 

VI - 6 Adapted from Tao Chapter 1. Elsewhere titled: "The Utility of Not- 
being," LYT; "The Use ofWhat Has No Substantive Existence," JL. 



136 PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS + TIMOTHY LEARY 



VI - 7 Adapted fromTao Chapter 12. Elsewhere titled: "The Senses," LYT; 
"The Repression of the Desires," JL. 

VI - 8 Adapted fromTao Chapter 13. Elsewhere titled: "Praise and Blame," 
LYT; "Loathing Shame," JL. 

VI - 9 Adapted fromTao Chapter 15. Elsewhere titled: "The Wise Ones of 
Old," LYT; "The Exhibition of the Qualities of theTao,"JL. 

VI-10 Adapted fromTao Chapter 20. Elsewhere titled: "The World and I," 
LYT; "Being Different from Ordinary Men,"JL. 

VI-11 Adapted fromTao Chapter 23. Elsewhere titled: "Identification with 
Tao,"LYT; "Absolute Vacancy," JL. 

VI-12 Adapted fromTao Chapter 27. Elsewhere titled: "On Stealing the 
Light," LYT; "Dexterity in Using Tao,"JL. 

VI- 13 Adapted from Tao Chapter 30. Elsewhere titled "Warning Against the 
Use of Force," LYT; "A Caveat Against War," JL. 

VI-14 Adapted fromTao Chapter 31. Elsewhere titled: "Weapons of Evil," 
LYT; "Stilling War,"JL. 

VI-15 Adapted fromTao Chapter 32. Elsewhere titled: "Tao Is Like the Sea," 
LYT; "TheTaoWithNoName,"JL. 

VI-16 Adapted fromTao chapter 33. Elsewhere titled: "Knowing Oneself," 
LYT; "Discriminating Between Attributes," JL. 

VI-17 Adapted fromTao Chapter 19. Elsewhere titled: "Realize the Simple 
Self," LYT; "Returning to the Unadulterated Influence," JL. 



NOTES 



137 



POEMS ON THE CONDUCT OF LIFE 

1-5 Adapted fromTao Chapters 41-45. 

HOMAGE TO THE AWE-FULL SEER 

A tribute to Lao Tse. 




mm 



#&*&## 



i 





m 



Chinese ideograms 
for Tao Te Ching. 



IIIDEX ACCORDiriG TO THE ORDER OF 
THE TAO TE CHiriG 



TAO 
CHAPTER 


PSYCHEDELIC 
PRAYER 


TITLE 


1 




II -1 


That Which Is Called theTao Is Not theTao 


2 




VI -2 


How to Escape the Trap of Beauty and Goodness 


3 




VI -3 


For God's Sake Feel Good 


4 




II -2 


Ethereal Pool Without Source 


5 




II -3 


Jewelled Indifference 






II -8 


Hold Fast to the Void 


6 




III- 11 


Gate of the Soft Mystery 


7 




II -5 


Sheathing the Self 


8 




VI -4 


Re-imprinting with Water as Element 






VI -5 


The Lesson ofWater 


9 




VI -1 


The Moment of Fullness 


10 




V-l 


The Root Chakra 






V-2 


The Sex Chakra 






V-3 


The Heart Chakra 






V-4 


The Throat Chakra 






V-5 


The Crown Chakra 






V-6 


Ascending Ladder of Chakras 


11 




VI -6 


The Utility of Nothing 


12 




IV -1 


Seeing 






IV -2 


Hearing 






IV -3 


Touching 






IV -4 


Smelling 


*###* 




^^H^NNNNN^N^NI 



140 PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS TIMOTHY LEARY 





IV -5 


Tasting 




VI -7 


The Innosense of the Sensual 


13 


VI -8 


What the Brain Said to the Mind 


14 


II -6 


Manifestation of the Mystery 




III - 1 


The Serpent Coil of DNA 




III -2 


Prehistoric Origins of DNA 


15 


III -3 


Clear Water 




VI -9 


How to Recognize the Tao Imprint 


16 


III -4 


Returning to the Source-Repose 


17 


1-1 


The Guide 


18 


1-2 


When the Harmony Is Lost 


19 


1-4 


Let There Be Simple Natural Things 




VI -17 


Walk Carefully When You Are Among. . . 


20 


VI -10 


Illustration of a Tao Imprint 


21 


III -5 


Lao Tse's Mind Becomes Preoccupied 


22 


III -6 


Transfiguration Exercises 


23 


1-5 


All Things Pass 




VI -11 


Keep In Touch 


24 


1-6 


The Message of Posture 


25 


III -8 


Fourfold Representation of the Mystery 


26 


II -4 


Falling Free 


27 


VI- 12 


Use Your Knowledge of Nature's Law 


28 


III -7 


The Tree Above-The Tree Below 


29 


II -7 


Please Do Not Clutch at the Gossamer Web 


30 


VI- 13 


The Conscious Application of Strength 


31 


VI -14 


Victory Celebration 


32 


VI -15 


Along the Grain 



INDEX ACCORDING TO THE TAO TE CHING 



141 



33 


VI -16 


He Who Knows the Center Endures 


34 


III -9 


The Seed Light 


35 


1-3 


Life Seed Death 


36 


III - 12 


The Lesson of Seed 




II -9 


Take In Let Go 


37 


III - 10 


This Is It 


41-45 


1-5 


Poems on the Conduct of Life 



142 



PSYCHEDELIC PRAYERS TIMOTHY LEARY 



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hese meditations on the art 
and science of consciousness expansion 
are serene, sensuous, funny and wise. 
They are among the most inspired 
writings by one of the outstanding 
visionary geniuses of the 20th century 

Ralph Me tz tier 

CO-AUTHOR OF 

The Psychedelic Experience 



Psychedelic Prayers, Timothy Leary s only book of meditative 

POETRY, IS A PRACTICAL PSYCHEDELIC MANUAL INSPIRED BY LAO Tse's 

Tao Te Ching (Way of Life). Written while the author was visiting India 

IN I965, IT WAS FINISHED AT THE CELEBRATED ESTATE IN MlLLBROOK, NEW 

York the following year. Psychedelic Prayers is the companion volume 
to Timothy Leary's High Priest, the story of 16 trips that defined the 

PSYCHEDELIC REVOLUTION. ^/Jjl. .'/J21 




Timothy Leary was drawn to the "psychedelic quality" of Lao Tse's 

ANCIENT WORK. "My OBJECTIVE" HE WROTE, "WAS TO FIND THE SEED IDEA IN 

each Sutra and rewrite it in the lingua franca of psychedelia." The result 

WAS THIS HANDY TAKE-ALONG PRAYER BOOK. It IS INTENDED TO BE READ SLOWLY 
DURING A SESSION AS A GUIDE TO TRANSCENDENTAL EXPERIENCES. 



This edition of Psychedelic Prayers contains six newly discovered 
meditations, several illustrations from prior editions, including the 
cover by h.r. glger, and a never before published photograph of 
Timothy Leary in India. Also included is a bibliographical preface by 
Michael Horowitz, and an historical 
introduction by ralph metzner who 
was with Timothy Leary in India 
when the book was written. i 



780914171843 
ISBN D- c imi71-flM-M 

PSYCHEDELIC Pl^AYERJS 

ISBN 0-914171-84-4 
Ron i n P 1 bush] n G, Inc. 

OX IO35, U E R K I L i: Y, C A 9470 









<>$mm